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Ted Bouck




Location: Northe East Ohio
Joined: 04 Jul 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject: 10th C - Dane helm? Need advice         Reply with quote

Hello All,

I have done a lot of research regarding getting a new helm built for myself. I am in the SCA, but also do some reenactment Viking stuff. My goal for the new SCA helm is to be as period as possible for a 10th century Dane, who has traveled throughout Scandinavia , the Baltic lands, Birka, Gotland, Staraja Ladoga , and into the Rus lands to Kiev.

What would you guys recommend I consider as the best shape?, the type of nasal or occular?, etc. The helm is for a Very high status Jarl, so the sky is the limit for design. I "do not" want to do any type of mail drape. [Maybe a drape in back?] Cheek plates and slat back are in the picture for me already.

Thanks for all the advice and recommendations!!
Best, Ted Bouck
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello, Ted. Sadly, for the 10th century cheekplates seem to be out of questio - none of rather limited helmet finds of said time perios has those, and using clearly anachronistic elements on a helmet of high-status warrior would probably be inapropriate. Essentilly you have only a few choices to base your helmet upon - either well known Gjermondbu helmet, or one of single piece or multi-part "norman-style" helmets with nasals. Keep in mind that however much the Gjermondbu helm may reassamble earlier Vendel helmets from the outside, their construction is significantly diferent and so, parts from those helmet types should noe be mixed, so no adding Vendel 14 cheekplates to Gjermondbu design if you want to maintain historical accuracy. As far as I know for the SCA the requirements are rather small eye openings, which means you might have to add some sort of wire "mesh" to the occulars (I belive I have seen someone make it out of blackened metal so it is almost invisiable from further than a couple of meters away).

I hope this helps somewhat.
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alas, I've seen one that may be what you require, but I don't know the name of it and have only so far been able to find this link:

http://www.dekeyserarmoury.com/VendelHelmPics.htm

It looks pretty average, but I'm sure I've seen that design before.
If I find a better picture of what I think I'm thinking of, I'll post it. Sorry I can't be of more help.



 Attachment: 61.63 KB
bohemond's%20sutton%20hoo%20helm-side.jpg
Also, though you probably don't want any sutton hoo stuff, I find this example pretty awsome.

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R D Moore




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ted,

Here's an interesting link I have bookmarked. The pics by Chris Gilman may help you.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ris+vendel

If you send him a PM, he may be able to answer your question.

Love this era!

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Grzegorz Kulig
Industry Professional



Location: Poland
Joined: 22 Mar 2007

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 4:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ted, have I understood you well? You want to make a helmet by your self? That's great, especially, as you want it to be historically accurate.

Guys, please notice, that Ted is asking about 10th century helmet! So no Vendel period helmets could be acceptable, especially, if he wrote he wanted his helmet "to be as period as possible for a 10th century Dane." Please, don't mix these 2 periods together... Sad

Artis Aboltins wrote:
Hello, Ted. Sadly, for the 10th century cheekplates seem to be out of questio - none of rather limited helmet finds of said time perios has those, and using clearly anachronistic elements on a helmet of high-status warrior would probably be inapropriate. Essentilly you have only a few choices to base your helmet upon - either well known Gjermondbu helmet, or one of single piece or multi-part "norman-style" helmets with nasals. Keep in mind that however much the Gjermondbu helm may reassamble earlier Vendel helmets from the outside, their construction is significantly diferent and so, parts from those helmet types should noe be mixed, so no adding Vendel 14 cheekplates to Gjermondbu design if you want to maintain historical accuracy. As far as I know for the SCA the requirements are rather small eye openings, which means you might have to add some sort of wire "mesh" to the occulars (I belive I have seen someone make it out of blackened metal so it is almost invisiable from further than a couple of meters away).

I hope this helps somewhat.


Artis Aboltins wrote here very good advices. I agree totally with him.

There is also another option. Helmets from Gnezdovo and Chernaya Mogila burial mounds have been found together with typical Viking equipment. Those helmets are rather not in Scandinavian design (they have been made rather by some eastern craftsman), but in my opinion, we can assume, they could have been worn by Scandinavian warriors.
Most of Scandinavian finds in Rus teritory is probably of Swedish origin (there are also some evidence in chronicles for presence of "Swedish" warriors in Rus territory), however, as you want to reenact Danish man who travels a lot, I believe it could also be an option for you.

Here is very interesting and well made article, translated by Artem Nagorskiy from Anatolij N. Kirpichnikov (I guess the most famous Russian archaeologist, who writes about arms and armour of this period). The web site is created by Peter Beatson from Australia.

It is sad, that so few people know this excellent site (please note, there are many other very interesting articles).

The link to images:
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/...desjatinna

The article:
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/...elmets.htm

Also, Ted. There are 2 different helmets from Gnezdovo.
One it the helmet in "Norman" type, made of 2 riveted halves. It rather didn't have a nasal. There are many rivets on the spangen, maybe the craftsman wanted to imitate granulation look?


There are two very similar helmets from Prague, Czech Republic.

Second is a very decorated helm. It's construction is very interesting, as it mixes the style of conical helmet with spangens with some eastern influences.
The sketch by Kirpichnikov.


Both, Gnezdovo 2 and helmet from Chernaya Mogila were very decorated helmets. They both have remnants of gilding.

One of 2 very similar helmets from Chernaya Mogila (the sketch made by Kirpichnikov).

Also, both helmets from Gnezdovo, as well as helmet from Chernaya Mogila, had aventails attached.

So, Ted. In my opinion, your options are:
1) Gjermundbu helm
2) "Norman" type helm with or without nasal
- one piece
- 4 panels with our without spangens (as 4 panel helm could also be made by forge-welding technique, I guess there is an example of helmet in this type in France)
- 2 panels with spangen
3) helmets from Rus territory, found together with Scandinavian equipment.

I know there some regulation with making a helmet acceptable for SCA use, but I guess you know this case better than me.

If I were you, I would think again about option of aventail. Wink

I really recommend reading the article mentioned above. You will find there many other interesting information about helmets and their construction (as there are things you can't see from photos/drawings).

I hope you will make a good choice. And good luck with making the helmet! Happy

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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

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PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 8:39 am    Post subject: Dane helm         Reply with quote

Hi Ted,

Both Artis and Grzegorz have given you pretty much comprehensive replies. However just to murk the waters a bit, and with all respect to Artis and Grzegorz there is a school of thought, Tweedle and Siddorn (and myself Eek! ) , that crested helms may have continued in use up to about 950 based on iconography from the north of england.

personally you could play it safe and go for a multi plated spangen type helm that appears to have been common in North Western Europe or plumb for Grezegorz suggestion of an 'eastern' type helm for a far faring Dane.

BTW fully agree with Grzegorz on his recommendation about Pete Beatson's website. I had the pleasure of meeting Pete and his wife briefly some years ago and doing some subsequent business with him and they both came across as great folk. On his return home, Pete even sent me a little gift along with my order all the way from Oz which I thought was very thoughtful of him.

Good luck with your impression.
best
Dave

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Ted Bouck




Location: Northe East Ohio
Joined: 04 Jul 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great responses All!! Thx !!

I am still working through all your points, and hope to have some comments and additional questions soon.

Best Regards,
Ted Bouck
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Grzegorz Kulig
Industry Professional



Location: Poland
Joined: 22 Mar 2007

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Dave. Happy
1) When someone is asking about helmet that must "be as period as possible", my interpretation of this is that the person wants to base on original preserved archaeological finds. Happy
2) The iconography is English? Do we have some evidence for crested helmets in Denmark or in East (Rus territory)? This serious question, not ironical, (as we know eachother and have respect). Personally, I don't know any so far, but I don't have all knowledge about this period, so I could be wrong and if i am wrong I would like to be corrected. Happy
3) It is very difficult to make an armour only from iconography. In my opinion only experienced and knowledgeable armourer should do it.
It is much easier to do this properly, if we have a similar helm preserved from the period. Like it is with "Norman" type helmets. We have few helmets finds and we have some evidence for their existence in iconography. So, we know how this type of helmet looked like and we can make some replicas based on depictions from art.
We don't have finds of crested helmets from Xth century so we can't exactly say how they could really look. Did they look like Vendel period helmets we know, or maybe it was some different style?
It's dangerous case, as some people can make their own version of "crested helmet" (for example mentioned here Sutton Hoo) and call it a "Viking helmet", when in my opinion it will be rather a fantasy helmet. Wink I guess you wouldn't like it too, Dave. Wink

Making helmets (especially from early periods) only basing on depictions from art/iconography etc. is really "dangerous" thing (from the historical point of view of course). It is really easy to cross the very thin red line between reconstruction and fantasy.

My private view in this subject is to based on original preserved finds, as most of you probably has already noticed. But I know there are some other opinions and views, which is OK, because we can discuss, not only agree with eachother. Happy But IMO this may allow too often for existence of fantasy helmets and armours in historical reenacting and living history. However, I know that this is the case of wrong interpretation of people who makes this "fantasy" armours, that's not the fault of people who have different opinion than me. But that's why I believe that only knowledgeable people with great knowledge of historical armours should make armours based on iconography.

Uff.. I hope this all will be well understand, despite of my English...

BTW - Dave, could you post here some fragment of iconography you mentioned? It is really interesting. Do you have it on your PC?

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Tony Peterson




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Grzegorz Kulig wrote:

Here is very interesting and well made article, translated by Artem Nagorskiy from Anatolij N. Kirpichnikov (I guess the most famous Russian archaeologist, who writes about arms and armour of this period). The web site is created by Peter Beatson from Australia.

It is sad, that so few people know this excellent site (please note, there are many other very interesting articles).

The link to images:
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/...desjatinna

The article:
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/...elmets.htm


Great site indeed. Very informative.

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David Huggins




Location: UK
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Posts: 490

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Dane helm         Reply with quote

Hi Grzegorz

Fully agree with every thing that you say in your last post. Razz

If Ted wanted a purely 10th Century helmet from Denmark based on archeological finds then he would be left with nil!

So we have to look around for helmets of the same period in a slightly wider context that a travelled wealthy high status Dane may have had contact with..

Northern England is not that much different in distance for the Danes as is Eastern Europe so that is why I included the iconographic evidence, despite the difficulties in interpration, having said that I do not know of any evidence of true crested helms on the european mainland for that period iconographic or otherwise.

I only stuck in the English iconographic evidence for discussion Razz and advised Ted that a Eastern faring Dane may well use a helm of the type you describe.

What does tend to happen however in re-enactment circles is we have an over prepondence of guys using these Eastern helms when portraying 'Vikings' in a north western Europe context. At least in a North European context I would have thought these the exception then the norm.

Offshore at the moment so no access to any images of English iconography , but I'll scan the pics when I get home and pass them, the images are mainly on stone work but I suspect they may be trying to show a coppergate type helm then a true crested Vendel/Valsgarde type.

best

Dave

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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Ted,

The best course IMO for a "historically plausable" SCA helm from the 10th century is probably a nasal helm with aventail over a cage. I'm in a similar position to you, and this is what I have been looking at. The chain will cover the cage, and the cage will cover the safety requirements.

Too many people get all mushy on thier facts and go with a Vendel era design, just for the cheekplates. Below is the best example i could find while I'm at work. It's not a nasal helm, but you get the idea. In any event this is worlds better for accuracy than going Vendel if that's not your era.



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Last edited by Gavin Kisebach on Fri 05 Dec, 2008 1:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Dec, 2008 1:41 am    Post subject: Dane Helm         Reply with quote

Hi Gavin,

Appreciate that you say the pic you have posted is not a prime example of what you are trying to convey to Ted in your post, but with respect, IMO this is exactly the kind of 'fantasy' helmet Grezegorz refers to Eek!

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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Dec, 2008 2:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
with respect, IMO this is exactly the kind of 'fantasy' helmet Grezegorz refers to


Right, yes. As I mentioned I was at work and didn't have access to my files, I was trying to convey the idea that a ventail / aventail / camail could be used to cover the rigid cage required for SCA combat, and is entirely more appropriate for the 10th century. I've replaced the picture I had up with a couple of helmets that should be better examples.

The dome isn't the important thing here, it's just the fact that cheek plates are a mistake IMO if you're going for accuracy.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Dec, 2008 5:36 am    Post subject: Dane Helm         Reply with quote

Hi Gavin,

Sorry if I jumped on your tail, but yes these examples are better. I guess SCA style re-enactors have more of a potential problem if trying to convey a 'historical accurate' helm with that societies safety requirements then most 'live steel' style socities that do not require those eye or face guards.

best

Dave

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Ted Bouck




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Dec, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, I like those helms, but there are so many of them out there now, I want something more unique.

What about a Coppergate style that has cheek plates?, or there are some 6th Century spangens that have cheek plates. What are the Byzantine infantry wearing at this time?? Many of us wear the "lamellar" from Birka, what Helms might have come north from Miklagard??

Great thread gentlemen, thx!
Ted
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Dec, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try Knotwolf Armory. He has more interest than most SCA armorers in getting a balance between history and safety.

http://www.knotwolf.com/mambo/

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